'It's not my intention to be the head coach right now!'
Jamaica's Reggae Boyz celebrate the goal of Ravel Morrison (#10) during their Concacaf World Cup qualifier against Honduras at the National Stadium earlier this year. Pictured (from left) are Daniel Green, Jamoi Topey, Andre Gray, Richard King, Devon Williams, Greg Leigh and Damion Lowe. Jamaica won 2-1.

MERRON Gordon, the stand-in head coach for the Jamaica football team's upcoming four-nation tournament in Austria, says he has no immediate ambition of taking over the job on a long-term basis.

Instead, the senior Reggae Boyz assistant coach said he wants to further learn his craft while taking guidance from English-based Paul Hall, who was appointed interim head coach last December.

"It's not my intention to be the head coach right now," Gordon, a former senior Reggae Girlz coach, told the Jamaica Observer.

"I want to continue to learn, continue to build, and hopefully, one day in the future if the opportunity arises, then I can grab it with both hands. But for now, as the assistant coach, if the head coach is not available I have to step up and do a job," he said.

The Jamaica senior men's team, comprising mostly inexperienced, locally based players, is scheduled to face Ghana on August 20 before facing Morocco on August 23 and 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar on August 26.

The matches are scheduled outside of the Fifa international window, which creates a clash for Hall who has coaching responsibilities with Queens Park Rangers, currently engaged in the English Championship.

Hall, given the job as the Boyz interim head coach after the removal of Theodore Whitmore, is said to be in negotiations with the Jamaica Football Federation over a possible long-term contract.

Gordon, who is to have Vassell Reynolds as his assistant as he temporarily takes the reins for the assignment in Austria, said he has been in touch with Hall in handling the squad's preparation.

"Coach Hall and I had a long meeting regarding the local players. He's helping behind the scenes, helping me to put things together while I'm in charge of the unit for these three games," Gordon said.

"We started training from over a week ago with the local players and they have been very receptive," he said.

"Most of them hadn't kicked a ball for the last month or more but they are grabbing the opportunity with both hands," he said, referring to the off season of the local, top-flight club competition.

Noting the exposure for the locally based players against the three teams — all of which are to compete at the World Cup — Gordon said the tournament offers the opportunity for fringe players to stake a claim.

"Some of these boys would be playing for the national team for the first time, and Jamaica is always calling out for local players to get a chance, so I said to them that this is their chance to prove — to both themselves and to the technical arm of the federation — that they can roll with the big boys.

"I explained to them that these three games can change their lives forever, and they are really working hard," he told the Observer.

"We are going to play against three big teams and, hopefully, we can get positive results from these games. Positive results don't necessarily mean winning, but at least compete strongly against these opportunities," Gordon added.

— Sanjay Myers

Jamaica's Reggae Boyz coaches Merron Gordon (left) and Paul Hall. (Photo: Observer file)
Sanjay Myers

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